Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

G. Allen Burton (Committee Member), Songlin Cheng (Committee Member), Chad Hammerschmidt (Committee Chair)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Land-use and watershed characteristics affect the cycling and transport of trace metals in rivers. I investigated the influence of different land uses and water physicochemistry on loadings, partitioning, and speciation of Hg, Zn, Cr, Ni, V, Cd, Cu, and Pb in three contrasting watersheds near the Dayton, Ohio metropolitan area over a 13-month period; Wolf Creek (urban/residential), Holes Creek (urban/residential), and Little Miami River (agricultural). Metal concentrations were related positively to discharge in each stream. Dissolved organic ligands appear to influence trace-metal partitioning between filtered and particle phases, however, particle-associated metals were dominant in each site. Total Hg concentrations and loadings are significantly greater in Wolf Creek, indicating a source of Hg to this watershed in addition to atmospheric deposition. Unlike Hg, areal fluxes of most other trace metals showed little inter-site variability indicating a ubiquitous source such as atmospheric deposition or weathering processes. Trace metal fluxes were disproportionately increased during spring in the Wolf Creek watershed suggesting pronounced seasonal flushing effect and increased mobilization; perhaps as a result of greater percentage of paved surfaces.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Year Degree Awarded